In 2017, following a record harvest in 2016, Poland’s overall fruit production plummeted by around 34.7% to 2.7 million tons. The dramatic drop in production was mainly due to frost damage and difficult conditions during the final harvesting phase. However, conditions differed greatly from orchard to orchard, even within the same fruit farm. According to GUS data, Poland’s total apple production was almost a third lower than during the previous year – 2.4 million tons. Nevertheless, where frost damage did not occur, there were instances of high yields and good fruit quality.
The scale of loss depended on the plantations’ varieties, age and location. The least affected varieties were Champion, Gala and Gloster, while the most affected variety was the Idared, which is the most produced apple in Poland. On some plantations, losses reached nearly 100%, but in general, there was just a lower amount of fruit on trees. In many cases, poor fruit quality was also recorded as the fruit was misshapen by the frosts and, in some places, by hail, diseases and pests. There were reports of physiological and fungal diseases.
As for other fruits, Poland’s pear production was similarly affected, with a 32.3% lower harvest than the previous year. Plum volumes were almost half the level of 2016, while cherry production was over 60% less than in the previous year. Apricots and peaches also suffered a heavy toll from the adverse weather conditions according to the Central Statistics Office.